"Amusing" "Technopoly": Neil Postman's Critique of Digital Norm Entrepreneurs

By:
Professor Brian Champion
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Nicholas Negroponte's "Being Digital" foisted on an expanding techno-culture the idea of boundless techno-proliferation. Postman engages Negroponte and I demonstrate that Postman was fairly consistant if not accurate about how digital "norm entrepreneurs" narcissisticaly built socio-cultural "norms" which accelerated digital acceptance and essentially created the dot com boom of the 1990s. Postman's warnings about the effects of uncritical embrace of technology, especially in learning and intellectual environments, is an interesting contrast to the digital propogandization many unwittingly accepted. American higher education's struggle with counterfeit term papers--made instantly available by unscroupulous digital entrepreneurs--and students' rejection of non-digital sources of information or reading--thus contracting their intellectual universe while substituting a passive visual medium for intellectual work--is a serious corrosive on the intellectual enterprise.


Keywords: Neil Postman, Nicholas Negroponte, norm entrepreneurs, cultural encounter
Stream: Technology in Education, Knowledge and Technology
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Professor Brian Champion

Political Science Librarian and Adjunct Professor of Political Science, Chair, Social Sciences/Education Department
Harold B Lee Library, Brigham Young University

USA

For some time, I have analyzed the effect of technology on society, especially on the culture of the academy and specifically on reading and on intelleuctal pursuit. My first paper on this topic was delivered in 1982 at a conference on technology and society pubished in the proceedings of the conference at North Carolina State University. My current work deals with the critique of techonoloyg found in the work of the late Neil Postman.

Ref: T06P0168